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How Backlogs in immigration courts affect individuals and families

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | immigration |

More than 2 million cases are pending in the US immigration courts. In California, families and individuals can wait for years to have their immigration cases heard in court. During this time, individuals and families face the unknown while their lives are placed in limbo.

Many immigrants are waiting for asylum, which means they face the fear that they’ll be returned to a life that is unsafe. Here are just some of the ways lives are affected by the backlog in immigration courts throughout the United States.

Loss of employment

While individuals wait for their cases to move through the court system, they face the loss of employment. Because of court delays, many immigrants find it difficult to get hired. If they do get hired, they face termination due to the lack of closure in their immigration cases. Unfortunately, the lack of employment opportunities makes it nearly impossible for immigrants to provide for the basic needs for themselves or their families. Some wonder if a change in immigration law can improve the process.

Emotional distress

Prolonged waiting periods can create stress and emotional upheaval for immigrants. The fear of being separated from family can also take its toll.

Unfortunately, the process doesn’t only affect emotional well-being. The stress and anxiety caused by a backlogged immigration court system can increase the risk of stress-related health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and sleep disruption.

Family impact

Families also pay the price of a backlogged court system. While an individual faces immigration court delays, the family worries about their future. Family members worry about whether everyone will be separated by borders. Unfortunately, delays can take a toll on the family unit, often leading to separation and divorce.


Backlogs in the immigration courts can lead to a feeling of uncertainty. With an immigration case stuck in limbo, there is no way to move forward with plans. That’s because there’s always a risk that the court will eventually send an immigrant back to their country of origin.

Documentation is an important issue for immigrants in the United States. Backlogs in the Immigration courts delay life for immigrants waiting for answers.